Do unto others… what, again?

Familiar formula goes along the lines of “do unto others what you want to be done unto you“. It has been taken for granted and slipped from one generation to the next, completely unnoticed.

But here we are. We caught this phrase by the gills and won’t let it go without a close look. As all of us on this site are (or encouraged to be) in the all-out, 24/7/365 “Question Everything” mode, we can’t afford to ignore such a wonderful specimen.

Let’s see:

Do unto others what you want to be done unto you

Hmmm… But how about, for example, masochists? They enjoy being humiliated or hurt. The bit of tradition above is inviting them to cause humiliation or pain to others.

How about others, who are different in a different way? The rule in its current form will make fools of them, as well. It will make fools of everyone, because each of us is unique and different from the next guy.

Can whole infinity of situations and conditions really be governed by this tiny inconspicuous phrase? How can all the colorful variety of the Universe be reduced to the grey of a norm?

We are all unique, not “normal”. “Normal” does not exist in flesh-and-blood life—it’s a term from the bureaucratic dungeons, where humans are packed, branded, counted, and transformed into consumers or taxpayers.

“Normal” is so anti-individual that even multi-national clothing manufacturers go as far as offer their products in a handful of sizes, rather than one.

Rules designed to roll all of us into normal, shapeless mass are an abomination, because none of us is normal by nature. No two birds are alike, no two trees. How can billions of humans be?

The message that the bit of wisdom under review is trying to deliver is “Stay low. Never try anything new. Be ashamed of yourself. Let the fear of possible consequences prevent you from acting.

It’s a rule for servants, not kings. If Alexander the Great lived by this rule, he’d be Alexander. If the Founding Fathers lived by this rule, they’d never be the Founding Fathers. “What if we upset the King? Let’s see – do we want to be upset by the King? Oh well, no independence then.

Great people are not free to ignore rules because they are great. They are great because they never knew there were any rules in the first place.

I hereby propose an updated version of the “Do unto others” rule:

  • Do what you have to

5 comments to Do unto others… what, again?

  • voxOnox

    I kinda/sorta followed your logic …. I guess I would somewhat agree with the idea to “Do what you have to in order to be free and independent.” But the loopholes you described above with regards to “Do unto others” seems to apply to your updated version. So … I prefer the following, in terms of a universal law/morality code:

    “The [following] two laws are stated throughout the lore of all the great religions. They are the point on which all come together. So, these are the only two rules that can be enforced on everyone. To go beyond them would be encroachment. 1) Do all you have agreed to do. 2) Do not encroach on other persons or their property.” – Richard J. Maybury, Whatever Happened to Justice

  • lastmanstanding

    Mustafa…excellent, even shorter and to the point.

    I might add…”to survive.”

    To everyone out there, once again…you may have to make a quick decision one of these days to keep you, your wife,kids, grandkids or friends safe. You had better make that decision right now! Have your talk with God or whomever you talk to and get it done.

    I speak from the earth…If you lived where I live you would know why. Look at what is going on world wide…Look at Japan and her people. In a few short months, a proud nation who has had a hell of a rollercoaster ride since WW2 has been ‘reduced’ once again.

    They will survive…again. Why? People of honor and tradition.

    Only a few of us in the USA have that…the rest are weak and pathetic. Soon we’ll se how it all plays out…frankly, I can’t wait.

  • Joe (Well-Armed Lamb)

    I always do unto others as I’d have them do unto me…namely, I leave people alone, and I expect them to leave me the hell alone!

    Unfortunately, when most people “do unto others”, they REALLY want to force their ways and beliefs on ME. That, of course, is wrong.

    Americans (and most Westerners) have become far too reliant on others. Mustafa, I like the way you think. I didn’t “get” what you were trying to say, at first, but I do now. You are spot-on.

    In Liberty, I remain,

    The Well-Armed Lamb

  • Thankful

    Maybe instead of a summary phrase like do unto others you could focus on the virtues; In your relationships, use honesty, courage, charity, temperance, diligence, patience, kindness and humility. Because the phrase was written when people lived the virtues. We have to revive the virtues in order to have the statement mean anything.

  • Mustafa Cohen

    @ Thankful:

    >> We have to revive the virtues

    This phrase is another attempt at control. We don’t have to do anything. There is no “we”, to begin with – look in the mirror, how many persons do you see?

    Those who are nice to others because they hope it will lead them to Heaven will never get there. Do what you think is right, virtue or not.

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